Dean Ashton has suggested that Declan Rice needs to improve on the ball before making a move to a team such as Manchester United, as reported by Goal.
He has stated that he still feels the 20-year-old could use another season or two before making the move, due to the increased level of pressure that he would face weekly in Manchester.
This advice comes after the England international has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, with The Mirror suggesting a £70m move will be made in January.
Speaking to Goal about the possibility of Rice making the move, Ashton said: “I certainly wouldn’t be in any rush if I was Declan Rice. I think he’s in the right place to keep progressing his career.”
“He reads the game very well, he breaks the play up superbly. On the ball nowadays, you want your holding midfield players to dictate tempo and I’m not quite sure he’s got that.
“He’s obviously got Mark Noble to learn off, I think he’s still better than him at that, and where I would like to see improvement is on the ball, being comfortable, being able to dictate the pace in what is such an integral position now.”
Rice has already had a taste of how harsh the criticism at the top level can be, due to the reaction he has had to his England performances, which many Hammers have tried to defend him against following games against Czech Republic and Kosovo.
However, it could be said that he is already comfortable on the ball and capable of playing progressively, going against what Ashton stated.
That is because the 20-year-old has completed 89% of his passes this campaign, as well as making 1.3 dribbles per game in the Premier League, as per WhoScored.
Regardless of whether Rice is ready to play at Old Trafford or not, many Hammers fans will be hoping that he opts to stay put at London Stadium for the foreseeable future.
West Ham fans, what do you make of Rice on the ball? Join the discussion by commenting below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!